Since Matt and I knew we would renovate the house, there wasn’t much we were actually willing to do to it. So we decided the only we could improve on and start designing was the garden.
I never thought of myself as much of a gardener, even though my parents are on acreage and grow everything! But having my own backyard inspired me to try growing veggies and herbs in raised garden beds. Hubby was kind enough to design and assemble some beds for me. He sourced the treated pine sleepers and other materials from Bunnings.
This was the backyard when we purchased the house. We decided to put 2 raised garden beds behind the shed (far corner of picture), as it received the most sun light. Unfortunately, the neighbours mango tree was growing out of control and it’s shadow shaded the majority of the backyard. We cleared the corner (which had mainly weeds), and cut back some of the mango trees lower branches.
The garden beds are approximately 1m wide x 3m long. We had originally thought to put 3 beds in, as there was enough room to allow for it, but changed our minds once the first bed was finished. After we had cleared the weeds, we set about levelling the ground as much as possible, but Matt also designed the bed to allow for a slope.
Matt assembled the bed, then we had to dig holes for the legs to sit in. I used a pelican pick and it was exhausting work! I think I supervised most of it, or worse, dug the hole and Matt discovered it was in the wrong spot so had to redo it! Fail!! 😦
We lined the bed with weed matting…
… then covered the weed matting with flattened cardboard boxes. I had read about this in a gardening book Matt gave me for Christmas, “The Little Veggie Patch Co
“. It tells you about no-dig raised garden beds. What I loved about this idea, was that we had so many moving boxes to get rid of, so this worked out perfectly for us! Way to reuse!
We bought premium top soil: 3 cubic meters of it. That’s lots of shovelling and wheel barrows! I busted the wheel barrow tyre (typical) which halted work (hmmm perhaps I planned to do it?!).
Once the first bed was planted and under way, Matt made a start on the second bed, with a few design modifications. He put in extra bracing, as the first garden bed bowed a little once all the soil was in.
We decided to use a snaking soaker hose to water these beds. At the time, it was the best we could do. We have plans to install water tanks, but that’s months away yet!
Link to: The Little Veggie Path Co website
I also found the following websites really helpful with the design and how-to behind no-dig gardens: